'Diesel Brothers' Fined $850,000 for Rolling Coal
The hosts of the Discovery Channel’s Diesel Brothers have been fined $851,451 for selling modified pickups that violate Utah law and the federally recognized Clean Air Act.
U.S. District Court Judge Robert Shelby also said the plaintiffs, Utah Physicians for a Healthy Environment, could submit their attorney fees for the defendants to pay. Cole Cannon, lawyer to the stars, has said the plaintiffs’ attorneys previously told the judge they were seeking $1.2 million.
Friday’s court documents stipulate that David “Heavy D” Sparks, Joshua Stuart, Keaton Hoskins, and “Diesel Dave” Kiley pay $761,451 to the U.S. government with the remaining $90,000 going to Davis County in Utah. The group has already been found guilty of removing particulate filters and exhaust recirculation systems on the cars used for the television program. The only genuine surprise was the sizable fine — as well as some court-appointed rules that will probably make the show less exciting to watch.
According to The Salt Lake Tribune, Judge Shelby was appalled by footage of the brothers (who are only related by their common love of all things diesel) rolling coal — especially because they seemed to be making a profit from it.
“These economic benefits,” he explained in his ruling, “continue extending well beyond the profits from these prohibited activities to defendants’ status as television and social media celebrities, the reputation and notoriety of their brands, and the economic leverage they have used to accumulate assets and start new businesses.”
Shelby also said the show will be prohibited from removing pollution mitigation systems for the show or selling any vehicles without the required emissions equipment, noting that any missteps could put them in contempt of court. Considering the Diesel Brothers’ entire premise revolves around the building of brash diesels with more power, it could be tricky rule to follow.
While the show’s habit of selling (or simply giving away) modified vehicles used in filming isn’t abnormal, it has opened it up to complications. Physicians for a Healthy Environment had an ace up its sleeve when it purchased one of the program’s modified trucks. Intended to be used as evidence from the outset, the pickup was sent to Denver for testing.
Documents show the rig emitted 36 times more pollution and 21 times the amount of particulate matter than an identical truck equipped with proper emission control devices. A case was made against the show, with plaintiffs adding that Sparks also runs a website, called Dieselsellerz, that allows customers to buy and sell used pickups with illegal modifications.
It appears to have been a rather effective strategy. Reed Zars, an attorney representing Utah Physicians, noted that the judge came extremely close to issuing the maximum fines allowable by law.
The Diesel Brothers have responded by saying the changes needed to keep diesels in line with regulatory laws have become ridiculous, noting that they’ve tried to adhere with rules as environmental groups continue hunting for ways to cripple aftermarket companies and tuners. Furthermore, they claim that some of the modifications performed on the show actually improve MPGs and power. It’s their belief that such modifications would be desirable to consumers. They added that the court completely ignored their routine usage of biofuels.
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The buyers of these trucks also by in large knew what they were getting. They should get very nice letters informing them that they have a fixed amount of time to have the vehicles brought into compliance or lose the ability to register them in any state. Should they continue to operate on public roads after that, without repair, crush em'. And "rolling coal" is dangerous outside of the carcinogens...you are obscuring the vision of the driver you are rolling. This behavior should be treated as street racing with heavy fines, and a similar strategy as above.
I've been a big fan of anything with wheels and pistons for decades. But this b---sh-t rolling coal is for toothless, hillbilly morons. Build a truck and use it as a truck and not as some idiot magnet. WTF...lump in burn out contests with that as well.